CAVE Collaborative Console
(LIMBO Supplemented with Awareness Tools)

Ron Kriz, Director VT-CAVE
John Carroll, Director Center for Human Computer Interaction
Ken Reifsnider, Associate Provost for Interdisciplinary Programs

Participating Faculty
Mary Beth Rosson, Committee Chairman for Kevin Curry
Debby Hix, Committee Chairman for Kent Swartz

Graduate Research Assistants
Kent Swartz and Kevin Curry,

Research Funded by NSF NCSA PACI
Quarterly Status Report to NCSA PACI: Apr 1 - September 30, 1998
Link to EVL CAVERNUS users List Virginia Tech
Blacksburg Virginia

Curent Progress:
Kevin Curry / CAVE Collaborative Console
Kent Swartz / Awareness Tool Summary

Project Origin: / CSCW (see details below)


This project is the continuation of a project for a Computer Science class CSCW "Computer Supported Cooperative Work" (CSCW), Instructor: Dr. Mary Beth Rosson. This class project is posted at

We met Jason Leigh and Andrew Jackson at the Alliance98 tutorial on LIMBO and got the latest and greatest LIMBO release and when we returned to Tech we gave the LIMBO CD to Kent & Kevin who had already been working on LIMBO for about 4 weeks for their class project. Jason was very helpful when Kent & Kevin encountered problems. Information from Alliance98 really accelerated their project and since the end of the spring semester I have spent the remainder of the PACI funds to continue this project.

Kent has continued the development of the awareness tools for about a month now and the results are posted below. We now want to pick a PACI project and further develop these awareness tools to enhance collaboration using existing CAVE apps. In a meeting with Glen Wheless and Cathy Lascara from ODU on June 18th we agreed to implement our LIMBO awareness tools in the CAVE6D upgrade that will include CAVERN. We will depend on Glen and Cathy for quidance on what features will be best used to enhance the collaborative features of CAVE6D. Debby Hix, the principal CAVE HCI researcher on the orginal CAVE proposal will also provide quidance on usability issues.

Invitation to participate

We welcome any other PACI partners who would want us (VT-CAVE) to customize LIMBO collaborative awarness tools for their applications from a Human Computer Interaction (HCI) usability view point.

Awarness Tool Description

A copy of Limbo0 as distributed from the CAVERNUS web pages was used as the development environment. Figure 1. displays three awareness tools. The participant list gives the roll of the user's current sharing the environment. In addition it also displays the relative distance the remote user is from your current location. In the future the participant list will function in a menu like fashion allowing the selection of user's to display status information, teleportation to their location, etc. Both the 2D radar and 3D radar give graphical representations of the remote participants located within a specified proximity of the user.

Figure 1. Limbo0 demonstrating the participant List, 3D radar, and 2D radar.

The scenario depicted in Figure 2. is an architectural drawing in which multiple remotely located architects are synchronously viewing. Because the two remote users are either behind the current user or hidden by the model, if we remove both the 2D radar and participant list, then the current user has no visual clues that the other two users are sharing the environment. This could cause the users to miss out on a collaboration opportunity. If we simply remove the 2D radar, then the user knows the existence of other users in the environment, but has no method of determining their whereabouts.

Figure 2. Example of the need for awareness tools in a 3D scenario.

Last Revision January 27, 1999